YOU DO NEED A PARENTING PLAN!

1. Even if you do not experience conflict regarding the primary care and contact of the children in separation, during or after divorce, the parenting plan will be in the best interest of the children which forms part of the settlement agreement.

2. Both parents have parental responsibilities and rights.

3. Both parents have guardianship.

4. The more conflict there are between parents in a separation, during or after divorce, the harder it is for children to adjust to a new situation.

5. Your children’s needs come first in a separation, during and after divorce.

6. A simple schedule is easier for children to adjust to in a separation, during and after divorce.

7. The children need to have a primary residence and frequent contact with the other parent.

8. Each child is unique; therefore consider the developmental stage, age, temperament, personality, and needs when drafting a parental plan.

9. Children have the right to be loved, cared, and supported by both parents during and after the divorce.

10. The parenting plan can be as detailed as you need it to be. The more structure the less potential for conflict.

11. Consistency and predictability are important for children during and after the divorce.

12. Try to establish a schedule for now and see if it works over a period of time and then re-evaluate it during separation and the divorce process.

13. Adapt the plan if need be before finalization of the divorce.

14. Use creativity and be practical when creating / drafting a schedule.

15. Create a plan which allows each parent to be at his or her best when the children are with the other parent.

16. Do not communicate through the children. Use communication tools such as email or text messages.

17. Do not ever insult or make comments about the other parent to the children.

18. Consult with a social worker / psychologist who specialises in parenting plans, when drafting or creating a parenting plan in separation, during or after divorce.